Questions have been raised about the future of the UK’s protected food names in the event of the country exiting the European Union.
With the UK being home to many Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), Protected Designation of Origin and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed status products, these EU-accredited titles have created many retail opportunities for their products while creating valuable export streams.
Protected names cover a wide range of foods, including South West, Scotch and Welsh Lamb and Beef; a variety of cheeses; fruit and vegetables, such as Fenland celery and Jersey royal potatoes; and native Shetland wool.
Although some organisations spoke of the lack of clarity on product futures, others did not feel there was sufficient information available to make comment.
A spokesman for Hybu Cig Cymru said: “The European Commission’s PGI scheme is open to non-EU products. However, the process for ensuring Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef retain the PGI status is currently unclear.”
While this uncertainty looms over the future of the protected titles of some of the UK’s most well recognised food products, other organisations seemed less concerned.
A spokesman from Meat South West said: “Currently, there are more than 20 non-EU products on the list which are either registered, published or have applied for protected denominations.
“These include products from the Dominican Republic, Turkey, Thailand, Andorra, China, India, Colombia and Morocco. Therefore, there is a legal framework to maintain PGI status, even as a non-EU country.”